Dungavel

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The former Dungavel Castle or Dungavel House is now designated the Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre, an immigration detention facility in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, near the town of Strathaven. It is operated by the UK Border Agency of the Home Office.

Originally a 19th-century hunting lodge and summer retreat of the Dukes of Hamilton linked to his then main house at Hamilton Palace, it was the home of the 13th Duke from 1919 following the demolition of the palace due to subsidence, arising from mining in the area.
Dungavel and the Duke were the planned destination for Rudolf Hess's doomed 1941 peace mission.

Dungavel House no longer forms part of the ducal inheritance. Dungavel was sold on to the National Coal Board in 1947. It was then acquired by the government and turned into an open prison. In 2001 its role changed and it is used for holding asylum seekers whose applications have been refused prior to their removal. It however, remains the final resting place for the thirteenth Duke of Hamilton, a naval officer whose grave lies within the close policies of the castle, once adorned with a ship's anchor.

This former Hunting Lodge of the Dukes of Hamilton lies about 6 and a half miles from Strathaven at the centre of what was once a grouse moor: Dungavel Moor. The Statistical Account of the Parish (1835) notes that "vast quantities of grouse are to be found on the moors in the higher districts of the parish. His Grace the Duke of Hamilton has some thousands of acres in sheep pasture and kept for grouse shooting. Perhaps few places in the south of Scotland are more favourable for game than the Strathaven moors. Partridges abound in the low lands. Plovers and ducks &c are to be found everywhere."  


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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017